Heritage denim brand Wrangler said today that it is working with its suppliers to encourage the adoption of its new foam-dyeing technology that will reduce water requirements by more than 90 percent. The announcement was made in tandem with World Water Day.
The company said that if its foam-dyeing technology was adopted by all of its suppliers, it could conserve enough water to fill the daily needs of 150,000 Americans in a single year, which is equivalent to the populations of: Fort Collins, Co.; Escondido, Calif.; Savannah, Ga.; or Hartford, Conn. And Wrangler confirmed that one of its primary denim suppliers has already invested in the technology and will begin implementation in 2019, along with several other suppliers that are actively considering the technology upgrade, which collectively represents approximately 50 percent of its denim supply, the company said.
Wrangler “identified the potential of this advanced technology and provided technical support, early stage investment and promotion within the denim industry,” according to the brand.
Via its Indigo Zero process, which was developed at Texas Tech University and commercialized by Indigo Mill Designs, the technology applies blue indigo dye to cotton yarn with foam instead of water, resulting in significant net reductions of water and energy usage. And its foam dyeing reduces chemical usage while simultaneously achieving the same or even better dye quality compared to conventional processes, the company said.
Wrangler has saved more than 3 billion liters of water through its ongoing technology updates since 2007. And Wrangler said it aspires to increase its water savings to 5.5 billion liters by 2020. The company also “promotes water-saving practices for cotton farmers and tests new technology for recycling water indefinitely in its own wash-down facilities,” according to the brand.
Roian Atwood, Wrangler’s sustainability director, said, “We’re excited our suppliers are very interested to adopt this breakthrough dyeing technology because it will drastically reduce the water footprint of the denim in our products.”
Ralph Tharpe of Indigo Mill Designs said that “Wrangler has been instrumental in advancing the technology and driving adoption by connecting with fabric mills around the world. Discussions are progressing well, and we hope this marks the beginning of an industry-wide transition to foam-dyeing for denim.
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